Sherri and I are on our 11th year serving as Methodist missionaries in Thailand. And we continue to be amazed at all the wonderful things the Lord is doing. You pray for this mission, and then God blesses the mission in greater ways than we expected or imagined.
We like to call these unexpected blessings “Serendipities”. Here are some of the many Serendipities from God in 2016.
- · 2 new Pioneer Pastor Churches were planted in Buriram and Buengkan provinces. We expected to plant 2 churches. What we did NOT know was that they would outgrow their buildings so fast. Church buildings were constructed for both of these new congregations because there was no place large enough for them in their villages. Now there are a total of 31 Pioneer Pastor churches planted in 31 counties that were previously unreached.
|New Church Building at Buengkan|
- We expected to build one church building in 2016, the new Blessing Home TaPhraya center. But God provided the funds to build FIVE church buildings, in Loepahan, TaPhraya, Buriram, Buengkan, and Sukhothai provinces. These churches are self-supporting, self-leading, self-multiplying and they now have buildings, which help them to be permanent.
- Sherri piloted a new ministry called Bright Future Savings Groups at Blessing Home Ground Zero in Pattaya and Blessing Home Isan and two other churches.. This program helps women and men to meet to save money together and learn Biblical principles regarding money and also to learn how to budget and control family finances. When we arrived in Thailand over 10 years ago, over 55% of Thai Isan farmers owned their own land. But now only 15% of Thai Isan farmers own their own land! The curriculum and program are in the process of development in this pilot and it has been very successful. We have had a large number of pastors and Christian leaders contact us so they can start Bright Future Savings Groups in their churches. The response has been wonderful!
We ask for continued prayers of the Bright Future Savings Group program. Sherri and I believe that the Bright Future Savings programs will help families to develop their families and lift themselves out of poverty. And as Thai churches have families that develop to become financially solid, these churches will grow and help to plant other new churches so the Gospel of Christ reaches every part of Thailand.